To prove discrimination, employees must use either direct evidence or indirect evidence to show that their employer discriminated against them.
An example of direct evidence is a manager’s admission that the employee was disciplined or fired because of the employee’s protected characteristic—race, gender, age and so forth. In other words, the employee must produce the smoking gun. Very few discrimination cases are decided based on direct evidence because managers rarely admit to blatant bias.
To prove discrimination by indirect evidence, an employee has to show that she:
- Belongs to a protected class
- Was meeting the employer’s legitimate expectations
- Suffered an adverse employment action such as being disciplined or fired
- Experienced less favorable treatment than a similarly situated employee outside her protected class.
Most employees don’t have any trouble meeting the first requirement because everybody belongs to at leas...(register to read more)
- Employee represents herself? Take lawsuit seriously, anyway
- Employee takes false allegations to the press? You can sue for defamation
- Listen for hints about illness ... they may be FMLA notice
- Hiding behind staffing agency won't protect you; temps can sue, too
- Clarify that promotions are based on business need